“Leadership skills are something anyone can embrace, whether you are going to be a tradesman, a university student, or a doctor.” – Kelvin O’Shea
The quotes, “Today is the stepping stone for tomorrow” and “Your today sketches the image for your tomorrow” have never been more meaningful than they are today. In the 21st century, people are working hard to shape their’s and other’s tomorrow. Following this trend, today’s student is being nourished physically and mentally to brighten the future of themselves and the nation in which they live.
It is true that leaders aren’t born, they’re cultivated. Today’s young generation is ahead of their time on the basis of their technological advancement. Only a few skills are required to change today’s student to a skillful and admirable leader of tomorrow. Many youth leadership programs and seminars are at work now-a-days, and many will be set up in the days to come. Their unanimous purpose is to bring out the great leader hidden in students.
Needless to say, the governments of all countries and NGOs are working day and night to develop exquisite leadership and literary qualities in students. They are doing a great job, but sadly, it is not enough. Further steps must be taken to ensure that today’s student emerges as the leader of tomorrow. Some of these steps and options are:
Fusing the three Rs of education with the four Cs:
President of the Partnership for the 21st century, Ken Kay says that today’s students need to concentrate on introducing the four Cs in their personalities and use them alongside the three Rs of education i.e. reading, writing and arithmetic. These four Cs are communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
Communication: Students must be given the opportunities to communicate with each other. Allow them to share their ideas, thoughts and feelings. It will not only improve their communication skills, but will also improve their ability to connect with each other and express their ideas.
Collaboration: Open conversions and learning processes give birth to collaboration. If a student finds a true sense of belonging in classrooms, then it opens up his mind and helps him to collaborate with others and with his surroundings.
Critical Thinking: Simply put, questions that have just one right answer should be eliminated. Rather, students should be asked questions that involve critical thinking. This means that he should think beyond the question, and open new doors of new possibilities and new ideas.
Creativity: Though often neglected, creativity gives a new form to old ideas. It helps students explore new ideas, based on old ones and use the creative side of the brain to do it.
Coping with the technological advancements:
No one is a stranger to the fact that technology is advancing at a pace at which it has never progressed before. It is claimed that for the students studying for a technical degree, half of what they learn in their first year will become outdated, and replaced by something more modern and advanced, by the time they reach their third year.
“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented yet, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” – Karl Fisch
Although, it is hard though not impossible to cope up with the technological changes taking place every day. The most important thing for students to remember is that they should accept changes and learn to cope with them. They must remember that education is a continuing process. Students should keep researching and studying on the new technologies, so that they are not left far behind in the race to success.
Apply the facts:
Apart from just reading and understanding the theory of any concept, they should be taught to use a practical approach for all theories. When students are ready to embark on their journeys in the real world, theory is not going to help them. They should know how to apply a theory.
Students should be made passionate towards their fields or their future job or with whatever they are doing. Even if a student is doing something completely useless, they should have passion for what they are doing because passion takes them one step forward towards their goal.
Potential to grow:
Students should have the potential and the passion to go further in their fields. They have to accept changes and advancements with an open heart and mind.
Students and their mentors must keep in mind that leadership is not a position, it is a process. No one is born a leader, but everyone has the potential to be one. However, proper skills and mentoring are required to achieve this task. The reality now is that tomorrow’s leaders need to be well-rounded individuals with strong skills.